A Collection of Naval General Service Medals 1793-1840

Date of Auction: 18th June 2020

Sold for £4,400

Estimate: £5,000 - £6,000

Naval General Service 1793-1840, 1 clasp, Centaur 26 Augt 1808 (Nichs. Roberts.) small bruise to obverse edge, otherwise generally very fine £5,000-£6,000


Approximately 41 clasps issued for this action.

Nicholas Roberts is confirmed on the roll as an Able Seaman aboard H.M.S. Centaur on 26 August 1808. He was born in about 1787 at St Keverne, near Falmouth, Cornwall, and came aboard Centaur on 1 August 1807 as an Able Seaman, aged 19. He appears to have served in the Navy until around 1840 and is noted in Census information as a Greenwich out-pensioner until his death at St Keverne in 1872, at the age of 85.

On 26 August 1808 Centaur, in conjunction with the Implacable, captured the Russian 74-gun ship Sewolod in sight of the whole Russian fleet near Rogerswick. During a spirited attempt by the Russians to retake and row the Sewolod back into port, Sir S. Hood laid her on board and lashed her bowspit to the mizzen rigging of the Centaur under a heavy fire of musketry. The bow of the enemy grazed the muzzles of Centaur's guns, which at the same moment were discharged, and the raking broadside tore her to pieces. The Russians made several attempts to board, but were repelled by the fire of the marines and the stern chase guns of the Centaur, and after a hot action of half an hour the Sewolod again struck her colours. In this furious conflict the Centaur lost 3 killed and 27 wounded, and the enemy 180 killed and wounded. None of Centaur’s wounded lived to claim a medal for this action.